Wednesday 31 December 2014

The Death of Dr. Kotnis

By his wife Guo Qinglan

At 6.15 a.m. on 9th December 1942 Dr. Kotnis breathed his last. He was just 32 years old. He had spent over 4 years in China during the War of Resistance against the Japanese, treating the wounded and sick Chinese.

On 27th November 1937, at the suggestion of of the eminent American correspondent, Agnes Smedley, Zhu De, Commander-in-Chief of the.Chinese Eighth Route Army wrote a letter to the Indian National Congress leader Pt.Jawaharlal Nehru expressing gratitude for supporting the anti- Japanese struggle of the Chinese people and requesting for support in the form of a medical team and medical supplies from India. Consequently Pt. Nehru proposed that a Medical Mission be sent to China. China Day was observed all over India on 29th June 1938. Dr. Kotnis, who had qualified as a doctor from Bombay Medical College, saw the demonstrations in support of the Chinese, and determined to join the Medical Mission. He went to Sholapur, his home town, and told his family about it. At first they tried to dissuade him, His brother Mangesh said " For the sake of our education father had to borrow a lot of money. Now our parents are old and need a helping hand." However, when his father saw that he was adamant he said " So, Dwarka ( Dr. Kotnis' first name), you have decided to go. I would like to remind you not to let the Indian people down. Since you have decided to go, you must do a good job and good things to the Chinese people, and win laurels for your family and country".

At midnight, September the 5 doctors of the Aid China Medical Mission, led by Dr. Atal, boarded the P.&O. liner , S.S. Rajputana. They were seen off by Mrs. Sarojini Naidu and others. On 14th September they landed at Hong Kong, and after a 17 days voyage reached Guangzhou. From there they travelled by road to Changsha, and then to Wuhan, where they were met by Zhou Enlai, who asked Dr. Kotnis " How old are you ?". " I am 28", replied Kotnis.

" Wonderful" said Zhou Enlai, " You can do much work for friendly relations between India and China".
They travelled then to Chongqing, which was the capital of the Chinese. government under Chiang kai Shek. At Chongqing, Dr. Kotnis received a letter from his brother in India, which was handed over to him by Dr. Cholkar, the deputy leader of the Indian Medical Mission. It said " Father has passed away suddenly ". This was a bolt from the blue, and he could not stop crying. His colleagues tried to persuade him to go back to India, but he said that he will never let his father down, and the best way to commemorate him was to help the Chinese people eject the Japanese invaders. So he continued with the Mission to Yenan, where they lived in caves. They spent the next 4 years treating the wounded and the sick Chinese.

During these 4 years Dr. Kotnis had overloaded himself with work for a long period until his health completely broke down working for the cause of the War of Resistance against Japan and liberation of the Chinese people. He went without food and sleep for long periods, and endured extreme pain during this period,and sacrificed all he had till his last breath.

On 7th December 1942 he performed operations on 5 wounded patients. On 8th December he taught his students and performed a practical operation for over 20 students in the operation theater. He was operating on a hernia patient.The operation was difficult as the tissues of the patient were very adhesive. Sweat started oozing out of his forehead as he was very tired. . After the operation Dr. Kotnis was completely exhausted and hungry. He grabbed a bite of a stuffed pancake when he suffered an attack of epilepsy. Earlier also he had suffered epileptic attacks. After regaining consciousness he convened a meeting to have a briefing of the day's work.

That evening he returned to his dormitory-cum-office, and started the compilation work of his proposed book 'Surgery in Detail'. At 8 p.m. he went to his room to be with me and our 108 days old child. As he was talking he remembered that the younger brother of his landlady was seriously ill. He went there to treat the patient, and returned after 2 hours totally exhausted..

At midnight he asked me for some boiled water as he was thirsty. Having taken it he felt better, but an hour thereafter I was suddenly awakened by the groans of his pain, only to discover that all his four limbs were severely twitching. His complexion had turned pale. He had suffered another attack, and it was serious. I staggered all the way to the Medical School for assistance. After a while, Principal Jiang Yizhen reached our house in a great hurry. On regaining consciousness Kotnis said " Principal Jiang, thank you for your visit. I am sorry to interfere with your rest. Please do not worry about me and go back to rest. "

Principal Jiang was aware of the convulsions Dr. Kotnis had suffered in the past, which never exceeded 3 to 5 minutes. This time the convulsions would not stop, foam oozed out from his mouth, and he went into coma. Dr. Jiang gave him morphine and camphor liquid, but to no avail. The doctor then tried spine puncturing, but it was of no use. Dr. Kotnis breathed his last at 6.15 a.m. on 9th December 1942. He was just 32 years old.
I cried bitterly with my infant Yinhua in my arms and fainted a couple of times. He parted from me and our infant boy , his wounded patients who were waiting for him, his international friends, and the army and civilians of the Shansi-Qahar-Hebei Border Region who were engaged in a bloody battle with the Japanese on the battlefront. I glanced at the table only to see the manuscript of 'Surgery in Detail' that he had written upto page 175.

After his sudden demise, Dr. Kotnis' dead body was kept inside a courtyard on a flagstone.

Dr. Kotnis had spent the last period of his life in the Tang County, treating patients day and night. There was not a single person in this area who did not know him.

The sudden demise of Dr. Kotnis left everyone in the Tang County in grief, and even the Tang River wept. The people in the County felt they were rendered orphans. An atmosphere of grief shrouded the entire valley. The villagers of the Ge Gong valley came to our place from all directions. Everyone who came was crying in the streets and in the courtyard, where his body lay.

Shortly after his death, the Bethune Medical School, the Third Divisional Command of the Middle Hebei Military Region, and the County Committee of Tang County, organized a funeral committee.

On 17th December 1942, around 1 p.m. the Shansi-Qahar-Hebei Military Region convened a mourning ceremony at the southern square of Ge Gong village. There was an ocean of people inside and outside the square. People from Shennan, Shenbei, Niangzishen Doufu, and other neighbouring villages walked to the mourning ground wailing and weeping. Some of the country folk were even stamping the earth and crying bitterly. People had never witnessed wailing and weeping of such intensity, and that too over the demise of a foreign doctor. Many fainted with grief.

As for me, my grief was even worse. All my tears dried up and I fell unconscious. I lost my hunger, thirst and sleep, and became very weak.

The memorial ceremony was conducted in accordance with the Chinese traditional funeral. A canopy was put for the departed soul, in the middle of which hung a portrait of the deceased, and to both sides of the coffin lay the floral wreaths and mourning couplets offered by people from all walks of life. An oblong sheet of silk was hung with the words " Doctor who rivalled the glory of Dr. Bethune". The place was filled with posters stating " Learn from Kotnis ". The memorial committee consisted of representatives of Commander Nie, Zuo Huaiying, Cheng Zihua, Wang Ping,etc

The memorial ceremony started with funeral music played by a military band, followed by floral tributes and bowing in silence, and then speeches commending Dr. Kotnis' outstanding achievements and spirit. This was followed by a grand funeral.

Among the crowd were many elderly men and women burning incenses and paper money. Some people sang a song which they had composed for the occasion :
" You came from the shores of the warm Indian ocean
To brave the cold of North China
For the world of tomorrow
You fought four autumns in China
Alas! At the end of a long night
The fountain of your life ran dry
Oh, Comrade Kotnis, our beloved
Your image will always be with us
And your memory will live forever in our hearts"

The news of Dr. Kotnis' death was soon carried to Yenan. On 18th December 1942, Zhu De, the Commander -in-Chief of the Eighth Route Army, and Peng De Huai, the Deputy Commander-in-Chief communicated the sad news to Dr. Kotnis' family. The news was flashed in the Liberation Daily newspaper published in Yenan, carrying an article by Zhu De.

On 30th December, a memorial service was held addressed by Zhu De. He said " Dr. Kotnis, our Indian friend, came to China from afar to assist us in our War of Resistance. He worked for four years in Yenan and North West China, giving medical treatment to our wounded and sick, and died owing to constant overwork. The army has lost a helping hand, and the nation has lost a friend. Let us always bear in mind his internationalist spirit ".

Zhou Enlai sent a message of sympathy to Dr. Kotnis' family :

"Dr. Kotnis is a symbol of the friendship between the great Indian and Chinese nations, and a shining example of the Indian people, who are taking an active part in our common struggles against Japanese militarism and world fascism. His name will live forever in the hearts of the two great nations to whom he dedicated his life."

Soong Qingling, widow of Sun Yatsen and Chairperson of the China Defence League, also wrote to Dr. Kotnis' family :

" His memory belongs not only to your people and to ours, but also to the whole roll-call of fighters for the freedom and progress of all mankind."

The Trickle Down Theory

 The present Indian government's economic policies seem to be based on a theory in economics called ' the Trickle Down Theory '.

 This theory states that for economic progress, benefits and concessions must be given only to big businessmen, which will then trickle down to the lowest level of society.

 The theory was known as ' the horse and sparrow theory ' in the 1890s in U.S.A. It said that 'if you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through its droppings on to the road for the sparrows to eat ' ( the sparrows being obviously the poor people ). It is also described thus : when the lion makes a kill, he eats only part of it, and the rest is eaten by hyenas, jackals, vultures, etc.

 So everybody gets a share in this trickle down. even the poorest people.

 The theory was strongly implemented by U.S.President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
  According to this theory, if benefits are given to the rich, they will use their increased wealth to invest in new enterprizes, which will generate new jobs, give contracts to suppliers of raw materials and small parts, etc Also, these new enterprizes will yield more taxes which can be used by the government for the people's welfare.Thus everybody will be benefited.
  A deeper analysis of the theory, however, reveals its fundamental flaws.
 If the rich get more wealth, they will not necessarily invest it in India in new enterprizes. Businessmen seek profit, and are not doing charity. So they will invest the extra wealth in new enterprizes in India only if they are reasonably sure of earning good profits from them, otherwise they will transfer this wealth to tax havens abroad ( in Mauritius, etc ), or invest it in enterprizes abroad, which will not increase jobs in India, nor benefit our economy in any way.
 And why should big businessmen invest this extra wealth in setting up new enterprizes  in India ? There is no market in India for the goods to be produced by these new enterprizes, because our people are mostly poor, and even the middle classes are losing much of their purchasing power due to inflation. Markets abroad are saturated with Chinese consumer goods, and moreover there is a worldwide economic recession. So this extra wealth will go either to tax havens abroad, or be invested in some foreign country where our businessmen can earn good profits.
  The new Land Acquisition Ordinance is also part of the government's trickle down policies. It is calculated to benefit big business, as it exempts certain categories from the requirement of consent of the farmer and impact assessment, and will thus harm the farmers who will be displaced. It will thus add to the woes of farmers, many of whom have committed suicide or are in a terrible plight as farming has become largely uneconomical
 The trickle down theory is a heartless theory,pursued only by heartless people

The New Roman Emperors

 Almost all the leading English newspapers in India have today published as their front page headlines Dhoni's retirement from Test cricket.
 Cricket is really one of the opiums of the India masses--the others being bollywood, religion, and the cheap politics prevailing in the country. These are excellent diversions to keep people drugged and away from thinking about their real problems which are socio-economic i.e. poverty, unemployment, malnutrition ( in half our population ), lack of healthcare and good education for the masses, discrimination against women, minorities, and dalits, etc.
 The Roman Emperors used to say " If you cannot give the people bread, give them circuses ".
 Our new Emperors are saying " If you cannot give the people vikas ( meaning jobs ) give them ghar wapasi "
 Hari Om

Tuesday 30 December 2014

Saiyid Hamid

30.12.2014, 5 p.m.
Just returned after attending the funeral of Saiyid Hamid (1920-2014), former I.A.S. officer, former Vice Chancellor, AMU, and former Chancellor Hamdard University. My friends, HRA Suhel, Senior Advocate Supreme Court and High Court, Gajanand Sharma,a senior Railway officer, and Asif Azmi, a businessman and social worker,all AMU Alumni, accompanied me. A massive crowd, including the Vice President of India Hamid Ansari attended.

 Saiyid Hamid was the Vice Chancellor of AMU from 1980 to 1985. It is said about him " Sir Syed made AMU, and Saiyid Hamid saved it ".

 When Saiyid Hamid became the Vice Chancellor in 1980, AMU was in shambles, hooliganism and netagiri were prevailing everywhere, and teaching work was in a terrible condition.

 Saiyid Hamid immediately set about to end this sorry state of affairs. He rusticated the goonda elements. He got the University hostel vacated,where these goonda elements had been staying for 15-20 years, ostensibly as students of some diploma course, but in reality to do netagiri, some of whom had occupied 3 or 4 rooms forcibly and were such a terror that no one had the courage to take action against them.

 Saiyid Hamid was of the view that a University is a place for learning, and not to do petty politics. Consequently he took strong steps to restore AMU as a great seat of education, and it was principally due to his efforts that today AMU is once again renowned throughout the country and the world as a great centre of learning, where the standard of education is very high.

 When he joined AMU many good teachers had gone on deputation to foreign countries to earn petro-dollars. He immediately recalled such teachers and told them to teach in AMU. Consequently the standard of teaching in AMU went up.

 Before he joined, many AMU  departments had chairpersons for 15-20 years, and had started regarding their departments as their fiefdom, where they could appoint and promote their favourites. He stopped this,and introduced the rotation system on these posts.

 My friend, Gajanand Sharma, a senior railway officer,and an alumnus of AMU, who accompanied me to the funeral ,told me that whatever he is today is because of Hamid Saheb, since he could get good education in AMU because of what Hamid Saheb did

 Today AMU was closed as a mark of respect to his memory

Raghuram vs. Jaitley

The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan have differed about Indian economic policy recently.

 Raghuram had earlier said that our policy should be 'Make for India', rather than 'Make in India', and insisted in maintaining high interest rates. He said that the emphasis on exports is erroneous , as " the world as a whole is unlikely to be able to accomodate another export led China". He also said that " with external demand growth likely to be muted for at least the next 5 years, India has to produce for the internal market".

Jaitley has criticized Raghuram, and said that we should make for the whole world, not merely for India, and reduce interest rates. He said that people want the best quality products at the cheapest prices, and we should sell wherever there is a market, not merely in India.

 I respectfully submit that both Raghuram and Jaitley are talking through their hats.

 Let us take Raghuram first. He is correct in saying that.the world market is already saturated, and with the worldwide economic recession going on, and likely to continue for a long time ( see my article ' World Economic Recession ' on fb and on my blog ) emphasis on exports will be unsuccessful.

 However, he is mistaken in thinking that the internal market will solve the problem. The fact is that our masses have little purchasing power as they are too poor. And as for our middle class, its purchasing power too has been greatly eroded by the skyrocketing price rise, and they have barely enough to purchase essentials like food and medicines, leaving little to buy other goods. So where is the internal market ?

 In fact even in our internal market, deep inroads have been made by the Chinese in certain sectors e.g. electronic gadgets ( no doubt not all of a high quality ), house furnishings, toys, Diwali fireworks, hot water bottles,etc, many selling at 10 to 70% cheaper prices than Indian products. Chinese goods have resulted in closure of many manufacturing units in India. 60% industrial units in the industrial belt of Thane and Bhiwandi near Mumbai have closed down. Chinese goods have captured 30% of the Indian imitation jewellery market. Many more such examples can be given.

 As regards Arun Jaitley, the reply to him has, in my opinion, been given correctly by Raghuram. A worldwide economic recession is going on, so where is the market for these exports ?

 In my opinion reducing interest rates will have no significant effect. It will no doubt partially reduce the cost of production, and thereby give some fillip to industrial production, but where is the market for this increased production ? The problem is not, as I have repeatedly pointed out, how to increase production, which we can easily do with our huge pool of bright engineers and technicians, but how to raise the purchasing power of the masses ?

 I repeat what I have said several times earlier : we must mainly rely on our domestic market, because over reliance on foreign markets is very precarious, as they may be captured by some other country,or there may be a recession ( as there is worldwide today,and likely to continue for a long time ). But for that we have to raise the purchasing power of our masses.
 How this can be done is therefore the central question for us today. We have to use our creativity to find the solution.

The Role of Intellectuals

I am spending several hours, sometimes the whole day in putting up these posts on facebook. Why ? Of course, because I enjoy it, but even more because I feel a heavy sense of responsibility to my country.

 We are presently in a terrible condition, and we must transform India, which is presently a poor country with its masses suffering from massive unemployment, malnutrition, price rise, lack of healthcare and good education for the masses, into a modern, powerful, highly industrialized country, with its people prosperous and enjoying a high standard of living.

 You people who follow me are intellectuals, and intellectuals have to give leadership to the country to attain this objective. Intellectuals are the eyes of a nation, and without them the nation is blind.

 But how can you give leadership to the nation unless your own ideas are correct and clear ? I regret to say that presently the ideas of most intellectuals in India are incorrect and muddled. You may be highly specialized in your own particular fields, but when it comes to Rashtriya Nirman Shastra, or the Science of National Construction ( read my article ' Rashtriya Nirman Shastra on fb or on my blog ) you are mostly a big zero. Pardon me for putting things so bluntly, but this is too critical a period in our country's history to indulge in and have the luxury of pleasant talk.

 Unfortunately there was brainwashing of intellectuals with false ideas by the British rulers and their agents, and even after Independence by most of our politicians, academicians, babas, and others. The result has been the totally confused minds full of incorrect ideas of intellectuals who should be showing the correct path and giving leadership and guidance to the country, but instead themselves require to be educated.

 So I am patiently and steadily educating you, so that in turn you may educate the masses in India.
 I am in a position to do so because I have put in a tremendous amount of effort in studying, learning, reflecting, discussions,etc for over half a century. I do not claim that all my ideas are correct. Some of them may be wrong. But the vast majority will be found to be correct, if not today, certainly in the future.

 Some of my ideas are really the ideas of others, e.g. my teacher Rousseau's idea that men are basically good by nature. I realized the truth of this idea by my own experience in life. To my mind It followed logically from this that 99% Hindus, Muslims etc and even Pakistanis are good by nature.

 But other ideas are my own creation, reached after decades of thinking, study, discussions with 
others, etc.

 Some of my original ideas are
(1) India is broadly a country of immigrants, like North America ( see my blog ' What is India ' )
(2) Pakistan is a fake, artificial country, created on the basis of the bogus two nation theory propagated by the British Imperialists and their agents like Jinnah and will one day reunite with India under a strong secular modern minded government which will not tolerate religious extremism ( see ' The Truth about Pakistan ' and other articles )
(3) India is in a transition period in its history, and therefore the next 15-20 years are going to be very painful and turbulent
 (4) Science is the only means of solving the country's problems

  Some of my ideas shocked people initiially, but now after deeper reflection more and more people are accepting them as they realize that what I said was correct.

  At this critical stage in our country's history, when everything appears confused and directionless, correct ideas have become extremely important. You intellectuals must have correct ideas, so that in turn you can supply these correct ideas to the masses and give them leadership.

 No doubt the great historical struggles have to be done by the masses themselves who have to make great sacrifices, but the masses must have leadership, and this is where your role comes in. And this is where my role comes in too

Monday 29 December 2014

Wake up Bourbons

 "Rau mein hai rakhsh-e-umr kahaan dekhiye thame
Nai haath baag par hai, na paa hai raqaab mein "

Mirza Ghalib’s sher (couplet) quintessentially reflects the situation in India today.
“Rau” means speed, “rakhsh” means horse, “umr” means time (it also means life, but here it means time or era), “baag” means “reins” (of a horse), and “raqaab” means stirrup.
Hence the sher means:
 “The horse of the times is on the gallop, Let us see where it stops.
The rider has neither the reins in his hands, nor his feet in the stirrup.”
Ghalib was probably writing of the happenings at the time of the Great Mutiny of 1857, when events took place at a galloping pace. But the beauty of Ghalib’s poetry (as also of much of Urdu poetry) is that it is often universal in time and place.
Today in India, the pace of history has speeded up. Events are taking place even more rapidly than earlier, and one wonders where all this will end. The government is totally directionless.
  The media has been full of stunts like 'love jihaad', ' gharwapasi ', 'swatchata abhiyan', 'good governance day', etc, etc, All dreams of millions of jobs promised to Indian youth in the name of ' vikaas' have evaporated ( see my article ' Vikaas ' on my blog ), and instead the GDP growth has shrunk from 5.7% to 5.3% in the last quarter, and manufacturing growth is at a total standstill, if not decline. One crore new youth are pouring into the job market annually but only 5 lac jobs in the organized sector of the economy are available for them ( see my article ' Unemployment in India ' on my blog ). The rest may become hawkers, street vendors, stringers, bouncers, beggars or criminals, whatever opportunity being available.
 On the other hand, the Congress has given a walk over to the BJP by persisting to have Rahul Gandhi as its leader, even though he possesses no leadership quality. and has no positive programme, not even a dream to sell like ' vikaas '.
 The latest ' Sapnon ka Saudagar ' talks of honesty, promises to  reduce electricity bills considerably and give water free to the poorer sections, which he claims to have done in his short stint in power, and some people in Delhi seem to have swallowed the bait, and are following him like children following the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
 A  bureaucrat, was found recently with Rs. 100 crore in cash in his car,  jewelry worth Rs. 100 crore, and total assets alleged to be of about Rs. 1000 crore..How many more Ministers and bureaucrats of this sort are just waiting for this temporary storm of integrity to subside, is difficult, if not impossible, to fathom. One would remember that when Emergency was imposed in 1975, for a few months trains were running on time, corruption by officials had stopped, and prices had fallen, but thereafter it was business as usual. As the Urdu poet Josh Malihabadi said in his poem ' Rishwat ' : " Hum agar rishwat naheen lengen to phir khaayenge kya ? "
Talleyrand said of the Bourbons that they “saw nothing, remembered nothing, and forgot nothing.” Most Indian politicians and bureaucrats today remind one of the Bourbons. They do not see the public anger rising against them and reaching boiling point, like that shown in the scene in Dickens' 'A Tale of Two Cities ' where a wine cask breaks up on  a street in Paris, and the people lap up the wine, while one of them writes the word ' Blood ' on a wall ( which is symbolic of the times to come ). They do not remember the fate of the Bourbons, the Hapsburgs, and the Romanovs (if they have even heard of them). And they do not forget their power and pelf, thinking these will continue forever, as did the ill-fated dynasties mentioned above.
The decisive factor is the economy.
In recent months there has been a total stagnation in manufacturing growth in India, and export-oriented industries have been particularly hard hit because of the recession in Western countries. GDP growth of 5.7% in the quarter April-June 2014 dropped to 5.3% in the quarter July-September.
India’s relative stability was based on the 15-20 per cent middle class, which, considering our huge population of 1,250 million, would be about 200-250 million. This provided a market for many of our goods and services. This middle class is fast losing its purchasing power due to skyrocketing prices, and this in turn is fast eroding India’s stability, as can be seen from the recent incidents.

Massive poverty, huge unemployment, skyrocketing prices, absence of health care for the poor people ( See my article ' Healthcare in India ' on my blog ), farmers’ suicides, child malnutrition (see my article ' Malnutrition in India ' on my blog ), etc, are all an explosive mixture. If the Bourbons do not wake up now (of which I see little likelihood at present), a prolonged period of chaos and anarchy seems inevitable in India in the near, not distant, future.

Sunday 28 December 2014

In one of my my previous posts I referred to the great Nyayik philosopher Udayanacharya, author of the well knowned treatise 'Nyaya Kusumanjali '.who belonged to Mithila.
Mithila, a region in northern Bihar ( partly also in Nepal ) is a land in India  where I have never been, and wish to go at least once before I die.
 This is because of the large number of outstanding philosophers, scholars, poets, etc it has produced.
 Gautam Buddha and Mahavir lived there. Apart from Udayanacharya whom I have mentioned, the great scholars it has produced include Kumaril Bhatta, Mandan Mishra, Vachaspati Mishra, Dr. Ganganath Jha, Dr. Amarnath Jha, etc. The great poet Vidyapati ( 1352-1448 ) also hailed from Mithila.
 It is said that when Adi Shankaracharya came from Kerala ( his home state ) to north India to debate with the renowned Mimansa scholar, Mandan Mishra ( disciple of the even more renowned Mimansa scholar, Kumaril Bhat ), and asked the direction to Mandan Mishra's house, he was told that Mandan Mishra's house is under a tree on whose branches the parrots are constantly asking ' What is real, and what is unreal ? ', ' How can moksha be attained ? ', etc. In other words, throughout Mithila there were great scholars, and debates were going on all the time.
 In my University, Allahabad University, where I studied from 1963-1967 there had been great scholars hailing from Mithila as the earlier Vice Chancellors. Dr. Ganganath Jha was a great scholar of Mimansa Shastra ( of which I too have been a student for long ). By translating  Kumaril Bhatt's Tantravartika and Shloka Vartika, and the Shabarbhashya, etc from Sanskrit into English, he made a great contribution, due to which I was personally benefited. As a Judge of the Allahabad High Court I would regularly go to the Dr.Ganganath Jha Library in Alfred Park in Allahabad to consult these books which helped me in interpreting several legal texts.
  I have been a scholar of Purva Mimansa, as this shastra provides principles of interpretation which are useful in interpreting statutes. Some of the greatest scholars who have developed this shastra were from Mithila. When I was a Judge of Allahabad High Court, I had prepared the manuscript of a book ' The Mimansa Rules of Interpretation ', the only book in English on the subject ( the others are all in Sanskrit ) and was seeking a publisher. At a function in Allahabad I met a Professor of Mithila University, and told him about the book. I said to him  : " Sir, you are from Mithila,the land of Raja Janak, and of some the greatest scholars of Mimansa Shastra which  India has produced. Please get this book published ". He gave a positive response, but later did nothing.
 Maithili, the language of Mithila, is one of the sweetest languages I have heard, though I cannot understand it.
 When I was the Chief Justice of Madras High Court, a Tamilian lady lawyer named Maithili appeared before me. I asked her whether she knew the meaning of her name. She said no. I then told her that it means one belonging to Mithila, in Northern Bihar, the land of Raja Janak, the great philosopher king, and father of Sitaji, who was married to Lord Rama, and the land of some of the greatest scholars India has produced.
 I had some time back received an invitation to visit Mithila. I could not avail of it at that time due to some other commitments, but if the invitation still stands I would very much like to avail of it. My email id is

Jinhe naaz hai Hind par woh kahaan hain ?

I was horrified by what I read on page 17 of The Hindustan Times today ( 28.12.2014 ).

 It appears that because of the widespread practice of female foeticide, despite the Pre-natal and Pre-conception techniques Act, 1994, in large parts of North West India there is a sharp decline in sex ratios in many areas. Consequently the number of girls of marriageable age is much less than the young men who wish to marry.

 According to a UNICEF report : " Despite these horrific numbers, foetal sex determination and sex selective abortions by unethical medical professionals has today grown into a Rs. 1,000 crore industry"

 Brokers in Jind and Hissar districts of Haryana are doing a roaring business, procuring girls from Assam, Chattisgarh, Tripura, Bihar, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Nepal, charging between Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2 lacs depending on the age and features of the girl, who can be married or sold.

 In an election rally in Haryana, a political leader said that if elected he will bring brides from Bihar for men in the state unable to find one.

 I am reproducing the news item published today in HT below:

The marriage bazaar: How female foeticide has made bride trade a roaring business
Danish Raza, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 28, 201

They talk about her in whispers. “Don’t tell her that I gave you directions to her house,” a local woman warns this reporter as she points out the two-storey house of Kamla, notorious in her neighbourhood, an upmarket residential colony in Haryana’s Jind district, for purchasing brides from distant states for the local bachelors in the region. Kamla is courteous but wary. She is plump and short. Dressed in a purple salwar-kameez and black overcoat, she asks her family members to leave the room while she talks to us. When she begins to speak, she gives us an unnerving stare. “Who told you that I arrange such marriages?”she inquires, rolling her eyes.

The trade in brides is flourishing in north-west India. Skewed child sex ratios, and a decrease in the size of land holdings per family has meant that local men are hardly seen as good matches here. They are then forced to look for options, outside the state. Women such as Kamla network with brokers and agents in different states to cater to the demand for brides.

“The problem is so acute that those demanding reservation in government jobs for the predominant Jat community in Haryana tell their followers that without jobs, they will stay unmarried,”says Savita Bairwal, state joint secretary, All India Democratic Women’s Association. According to UNICEF, 80% of districts in India have recorded a declining sex ratio since 1991. ‘Despite these horrific numbers, foetal sex determination and sex selective abortions by unethical medical professionals has today grown into a Rs. 1,000 crore industry,’ notes the agency.

While campaigning for the latest assembly polls in Haryana, BJP leader OP Dhankar said at a rally in Jind that if voted to power, he would bring brides from Bihar for men in the state who are unable to find a suitable match. “Making the BJP strong also means that youths who are roaming without brides will get one,” he said.

Posing as a broker for families seeking wives for their sons, we met with four such traffickers in the Jind and Hisar districts of Haryana to understand the scale, the modus operandi and the money involved in the business of brides.

While some operate in the garb of registered marriage bureaus, most of them are discreet and run their business on word of mouth. They talk business strictly to people within their network.

Most of the deals are done over the phone along with regular visits to source areas in states such as Assam, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Bihar, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Nepal. They charge around Rs. 50,000 to two lakh depending on the girl’s age and features. The money is divided among the middlemen between source and destination.

Depending on the risks involved, you can get a girl with all her documents in place or none at all and then decide if you would want to continue the marriage. Or sell her.

(Names of alleged traffickers have been changed)

‘options are many’

Around 13 years ago, Balram, who goes by his first name, visited Tripura’s capital, Agartala, with one of his friends in Dabra village, Hisar. He got married there and since then, has made 50 odd trips to the north eastern state with his wife, Tanuja.

“I have brought 104 girls from Tripura in the past 12 years,” claims Balraj, adding, “Tell me whenever you want to visit. There will be 20-25 girls sitting in a room. You will have many options to choose from.”

Tanuja, a class eight-pass-out, now in her late 30s, handles their business and all its nitty-gritties, attending to customers in Haryana, exchanging phone numbers, maintaining a strong network with agents in the source region and arranging for their travel.

The couple’s estimate is that traffickers have brought around 5,000 girls from Tripura to Haryana and adjoining Punjab. “We are not the only ones doing it. Like my wife, there are numerous women who buy brides from their native states,” he says.

The return journey to Tripura will take a week and we will have to bear all the expenses, says Tanuja. “The girls’ families are so poor that they will not be able to host you properly. You will have to bear the expenses of your stay there,” she tells us.

The couple also source girls from Tezpur, Assam. They show us a girl from Tezpur. She has been living with them for around 15 days. “Look at her and let us know if you have a prospective groom for her,” he says.

He does not discuss money with us; not even a rough estimate. For him to tell us rates, he says, we will first have to show him the men who we represent, to strike the deal.

‘there will be a proper marriage ceremony’

Doh number kee bahut hain…jitni chahe le le (There are many fakes here….take as many girls as you want),” says Ajay, a bride- trafficker in Jind’s Malsari Kheda village, referring to girls who run away within a couple of days of getting married. “If you want one actually for marriage, you will have to give me time,” says Ajay, who sources girls from Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh), Bihar and adjoining state of Jharkhand.

He is upset as one of his main suppliers of brides- a women broker in Panipat with contacts in Bihar’s Gaya district- has quit the trade. Yet, he tries his luck and makes a phone call to her and asks her to give it a second thought. She does not budge and hangs up on him.

His other source, an agent in Ghaziabad, has hiked his rates. The last time Ajay spoke with him, he says, he demanded Rs. 1.5 lakh. “What will I earn if I give him that much? Greed has screwed his brain,” fumes Ajay.

We are told that at least five bride- traffickers are active in this part of Haryana. Each of them source potential brides from different states so that there is no competition. Dharamveer deals in girls from Uttarakhand, Inder Singh procures them from Assam and Radhe Shyam has a solid network in Jharkhand.

“This is why you will find roughly 20 to 50 such girls from almost every neighboring village,” says a villager who did not want to be named.

Currently, Ajay’s only source in the region is a headmaster in a government school in the nearby village. “A Bihari girl will cost you Rs. 70,000. You will have to pay almost double the price for a girl from Himachal Pradesh,” says Ajay.

Despite making more than ten visits to Bihar, Ajay says, he would not want to deal directly with families who sell off their girls to fight poverty. “The day I try to bypass brokers, they will stop my access and ensure that I stop getting girls,” he says. Also, sourcing brides through agents is safer because the agents take care of all legal issues bound to arise in the source area. “That is the best part. There will be a proper marriage ceremony as per your religion,” he says.

‘my trade is bound to thrive’
Rupa, a trafficked bride in Hisar, Haryana, wants to meet the broker who brought her here as she holds him responsible for ruining her life

Subhash, a 35 year-old wrestling enthusiast in Kaimri, a hamlet in Hisar, says it’s not about the money. He runs a flour mill and a grocery shop in the neighbourhood. The rear entrance of his mud house overlooks his farm-land. “I have everything by God’s grace,” he says. Around 12 years ago, he  was diagnosed with diabetes and has been grappling with weight loss since then. “I don’t travel a lot now,” he says. To add to his income, Subhash developed, what he calls a ‘side business’.

“How many girls do you want? I have ‘clean’, unmarried girls from Assam and Chhattisgarh. They are from poor families. You will have to pay them money. I will take my share too. This is how it works,” explains Subhash, who fits into one’s stereotype of a man from rural Haryana – tall, well-built and ear-ringed.

Assamese girls, he says, find it difficult to adjust in Haryana as they face language issues. As alternatives, he suggests girls from Rajasthan’s Alwar district, Lucknow and Ghaziabad.

Noticing that Subhash is opening up to us in the very first meeting, his wife interrupts saying he just facilitates marriages and does not trade in girls.

Subhash shuts her up and asks her to attend to household chores.

When we stress on fair complexion and ‘pretty’ features, he mentions Nepal. “We have the most beautiful kids. They are up for grabs,” he says. Regarding the costs involved, Subhash says it all depends on the situation when the deal is struck. “It all happens within minutes,” he says.

To keep the police at bay, traders have started getting such marriages registered in courts. It is not a pre-condition though. “You can take the girl’s thumb impression on a blank paper,” he says with a shrug.

Subhash says his trade is only going to flourish in the years to come as land holdings will keep multiplying and boys here find it extremely difficult to get married if they don’t have enough land. The only option before them is to get girls from outside. “The breed which we get from such alliances will not be good. But if start saying no to girls from outside, all our boys will remain bachelors. Therefore, we cannot help it,” says Subhash.

‘the returns have to be really good’

Kamla wants to take over the business from her boss, Pandey ji. A resident of Panipat district, he has been arranging girls for her for the past seven years. “If a deal is done in Rs. 1 lakh, he takes Rs. 70,000. Saara paisa wahi khaa leta hai (he takes the major chunk of the profit),” cusses Kamla.

Through him, she is in touch with brokers dealing in girls from Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh) and Himachal Pradesh. One has to travel to these states to get brides she says. “If you want to see the girls here in Haryana or Delhi, it will cost Rs. 10,000 extra. And if, on the way there is a police case, you will have to pay for that too.”

The morning we met her, Kamla had returned from her five-day visit to Himachal Pradesh.  But she says she operates through the phone and does not travel. She has another office in Faridabad, one of the satellite towns in the National Capital Region, adjoining Delhi.

She dials Pandey ji’s  number and insists we talk to him for clarity. “System samajh yaar (Understand the system, dear)” she says. He is busy and asks her to call later in the day. She wouldn’t mind the easy money and asks us for business ideas which she could explore. “Do not worry about the police and civic agencies. I have my people in all those offices. That’s not an issue. But the returns have to be really good,” she says.

We wind up soon as she is late for an appointment.

Before that, she asks us for the second time if we are really meeting her with the purpose of buying brides and wants to be sure that its not a trap. “Tum CID waaley toh nahi ho na? (you people are not from the CID, right?),” she says.

When convinced, she makes us an offer. “I have two girls from Chhattisgarh  here in Rohtak for the past one week. Let me know if you want to get it done in a day or two,” she says.

Kamla claims to know almost all major traffickers in Haryana and Punjab. She wants us to be cautious about them and is eager to know who all we met in Jind and elsewhere. She tips us off about a Hisar fixer who, she says, is a fraudster. “There are all kinds of people in this business. I am telling you as a well-wisher,” she says.

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The Chinar Foundation

Although a Kashmiri Pandit, I regard 99% Kashmiri Muslims as good people, and I do not share the opinion of some Kashmiri Pandits, particularly those who were displaced from Kashmir, who are critical of Kashmiri Muslims. This is because my teacher, the great French thinker Rousseau, had taught me that men are good by nature ( though some of them may be temporarily misguided by some wicked people who have their own vested interests ).

 Kashmiri Muslims have suffered a lot, like Kashmiri Pandits. My effort is to bring both Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits together under one umbrella. The Chinar Foundation is a product of that thought.

   One of the  principal aims of the Chinar Foundation will be to apply balm and give a healing touch on the deep wounds both Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits have suffered.

 Till now there has been no organization which incuded both Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims. So this will be the first venture of its kind.

 I have, of course,my own political views about the Kashmir problem. I have often said that the only solution to the Kashmir problem is reunification of India and Pakistan ( and also Bangladesh ) under a strong secular government which will not tolerate religious extremism of any kind, whether Hindu or Muslim. That will automatically solve the problem of Kashmir. But this is my personal view, not the view of the Chinar Foundation. In fact the Foundation is a non political organization with no political views. Its aim is to promote the rich composite culture of Kashmir, its sufi tradition,its music, poetry, philosophy, etc and also to help Kashmiris in flood relief, sustainable development, creating job opportunities for Kashmiri youth, promoting the Kashmiri language, etc.

 The Chinar Foundation, which is still in the formative stage, is a unique organization. Its members include not only Kashmiris ( whether Muslims or Hindus ) but also people married to Kashmiris, and descendants of such mixed marriages, and even non Kashmiris who subscribe to the liberal cosmopolitan Kashmiri spirit.

 Thus the Chinar Foundation will represent not just Kashmir but also the integrity amidst diversity of the whole nation.

  The first preliminary meeting of the Chinar Foundation was held at my residence some time back, where about a dozen people, including some non Kashmiris attended. Col. Valmiki Katju ( email id ), my elder brother, was chosen as the President, and Mr. Iftikhar Gilani, a Kashmiri senior journalist ( of the DNA newspaper ) based in Delhi ( email id ), as the General Secretary. I will be one of the patrons ( my email id is The other office bearers, Vice Presidents, Joint and assistant secretaries, treasurer, etc will be chosen later.

 Mrs. Meenakshi Behara ( email id ), a Kashmiri lady married to an Andhrite, Mr. Subbu, has prepared a draft Charter of the Aims and Objectives, etc of the organization ( which I have posted on facebook ), and the next meeting is scheduled for 11th January, 2015 at the residence of Mr. Subbu, in which the Charter will be finalized and other matters discussed. Suggestions in this connection are invited from all.

 Although those who attended the first meeting of the Foundation live in Delhi or nearby, we wanted a strong wing of the Foundation in Kashmir. So a meeting of some persons will shortly be held in Srinagar in this connection, as informed by Dr. Ijtaba Shafi ( email id ), a J&K State government medical doctor based in Srinagar. Mr. Ghulam Hasan Kaloo ( email id mirrorof and mirrorof ),editor and publisher of the newspaper 'Mirror of Kashmir', and President of the J&K Press Association, and others ( email ids, vivek kaul, whose email id is,, etc ), are also helping in this venture


I am an admirer of Punjabis.

There are some persons who say that Punjabis are selfish ( matlabi ) people. I do not agree with them, and for two reasons, one theoretical, and the other borne out of my own experience.

 The theoretical reason is that at a very early age I came across the writings of my teacher, the French thinker Rousseau, whose humble disciple I have remained always. Rousseau taught me that 99% of all people are good by nature ( though some of them may be temporarily corrupted by some wicked people ). This has avoided me from the pitfalls many people succumb to of stereo typing people. So , theoretically I cannot stereotype any group of people as bad.

 Secondly,my own experience has led me to the conclusion that 99% Punjabis are good by nature. They are a hard working people, and like to live well. I may give a few examples.

1. A Punjabi friend of mine from Allahabad told me about himself. His family had to migrate from Pakistani Punjab at the time of Partition in 1947, where many of his family members were killed. He told me that when his parents came from Pakistani Punjab they had lost everything, and came with barely their clothes on their back. My friend was one of 6 children of their parents, the eldest being a sister, and my friend being the eldest of the brothers. Their father set up a small motor machinery parts business in chowk in Allahabad, and worked very hard to support the family. The children were growing up, and when my friend's trouser or half pant became too small for him, as he had grown up,it was passed on to the next brother, and when he too grew up, it was passed on to the next, and so on. This was the hardship under which the family lived. Today, all the family members are doing well. My friend got 95% in M.Sc. mathematics in Allahabad University and joined the I.A.S. and after retirement has set up a law firm in a specialized field which is doing extremely well. All his brothers have done extremely well in life. I am sure there are many such similar stories of Punjabis.

2. Another Punjabi friend of mine from Allahabad days had a similar life. His parents had to flee from Pakistani Pakistan without anything. His father and uncle set up a small footwear shop in Civil Lines in Allahabad to support their families, and worked hard all their lives.. Today all the family members are dong well. My friend joined the I.A.S. and later resigned and set up a business as a builder near Delhi, which has done extremely well. He is very good to me, and often invites me o his parties,etc ( I rarely go to parties, but his are an exception ).

 3. My former private secretary in the Supreme Court is a Punjabi. He is so good and loyal that though I have retired fom the Supreme Court over 3 years ago, if I have any problem I have only to telephone him and he rushes to help me ( unless he has some official work ).

4. One of my best friends from my Allahabad days, who died a few years back, was a Punjabi. We used to play football and other games together. He later joined the Indian Revenue Service ( Customs and Central Excise ), and was a man of outstanding integrity. He was always very good to me.

 5. The Sikhs are Punjabis, and they are very hard workers. Many of them are good entrepreneurs. My Sikh friends are all good persons, and are very kind to me.

 So I cannot agree with people who call Punjabis matlabis

Once again on gay relationships and gay marriages

Just now a friend of mine spoke to me on telephone and questioned me about my views on gay relationships.

 I said that I am against penalizing or physically attacking gay people. But I certainly regard gay relationships as unnatural, and i regard this fad of regarding gay relationships as a sign of ' modernity ' as silly.

He asked me to clarify. I said that let us consider this step by step, like a mathematical theorem.

Step no. 1
 Is it, or is it not, correct that there is a law of nature that while individuals may die,the species must continue ?
He conceded that step

Step no. 2
 Is it,or is it not, correct that in fulfilling this law of nature the main role is that of the woman, because it is she who has to conceive the child, bear it in her body for 9 months, then give birth to it, and later rear it ( though in this last function the husband also plays a role ) ?
He conceded this too

Step no. 3
Since it is the woman.who plays the main role in continuing the species, does it not logically follow from step no. 2 that, leaving aside exceptions, every woman has a strong urge to have a child ?

 As regards surrogate children, this may be because the woman may have some medical problem of retaining the foetus in her womb after it is conceived. And if she cannot have a child despite medical treatment she can always adopt a child.
 My friend had some doubts about this third step, saying that some women do not want children, but when I pointed out that the third step logically flowed from the second, and that women who do not want to have children are rare exceptions, he had to agree.

Step no. 4
 To have a child, a woman has to be impregnated by a man. Surely a woman cannot impregnate another woman.
 Of course a woman may be artificially inseminated, but is that the normal way ? I have spoken to several women, and they agree that they would not want artificial insemination but in the natural way.

Step no. 5
 It follows that gay relationships are unnatural
 One of the purposes of marriage is to have children. But how can two persons have children if they belong to the same sex ?
 I,however repeat that I am not in favour of punishing gays or attacking them. i am a democrat, and in favour of freedom. So let people do whatever they wish. But I too should have the freedom of expressing my view, for which I have given reasons, without being subjected to a barrage of abuses, invective and calumny, and being called crazy, backward, a homophobe, an idiot or retarded

Saturday 27 December 2014

A New Definition of Modernism

In my post ' Gay relationship and Gay Marriages ' I had expressed my views on the subject But I was sorry to note the reaction. There was a barrage of hostile comments, some almost abusive, some calling me mad, some calling me a homophobe, others calling me an idiot.. Am I not even entitled to express my views ? It appears that the answer is no, and if one dares to do so, a torrent of invective, abuses and curses is bound to follow

 It seems that if a man  ' marries ' another man , or a woman another woman ( whatever that may mean ), it is being modern, but if a man marries a woman that is being backward and retrogressive !
This is an interesting new definition of modernism !

Mirza Ghalib

 "Jin shehron mein goonji thi Ghalib ki nava barson
Un shehron men ab Urdu benaam-o-nishan thehri
Azadi-e-kaamil ka ailan hua jis din
Maa'toob zubaan thehri, ghaddar zubaan thehri

Jis ahad-e-siyasat ne yeh zinda zubaan kuchli
Us ahad-e-siyasat ko mehroomon ka gham kyun hai ?
Ghalib jise kehte hain Urdu hi ka shayer tha
Urdu par sitam dhaa kar, Ghalib par karam kyun hai ? "

 Sahir Ludhianvi, at the Ghalib's death anniversary function in Agra in 1969

Today, 27th December, 2014 is the 217th birth anniversary of Mirza Ghalib
  When several years back I appealed for award of Bharat Ratna to Mirza Ghalib, many people called me crazy. Obviously Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh thought Sachin Tendolkar more suitable. Even the present government does not think Ghalib to be deserving.
 Some people said that if we award Bharat Ratna to Mirza Ghalib why not to Gautam Buddha and Ashoka ? I explained that Ghalib was a modern figure, not an ancient or medeival one.
Many people have got Bharat Ratna posthumously, e.g. Dr. Ambedkar and Sardar Patel. So why not Ghalib ?
 I will keep appealing until one of two things happen : the award is given to Ghalib, or I die.


In my previous post I referred to the great Nyayik philosopher Udayanacharya, author of the well knowned treatise 'Nyaya Kusumanjali '.who belonged to Mithila.

Mithila, a region in northern Bihar ( partly also in Nepal ) is a land in India  where I have never been, and wish to go at least once before I die.

 This is because of the large number of outstanding philosophers, scholars, poets, etc it has produced.
 Gautam Buddha and Mahavir lived there. Apart from Udayanacharya whom I have mentioned, the great scholars it has produced include Kumaril Bhatta, Mandan Mishra, Vachaspati Mishra, Dr. Ganganath Jha, Dr. Amarnath Jha, etc. The great poet Vidyapati ( 1352-1448 ) also hailed from Mithila.

 It is said that when Adi Shankaracharya came from Kerala ( his home state ) to north India to debate with the renowned Mimansa scholar, Mandan Mishra ( disciple of the even more renowned Mimansa scholar, Kumaril Bhat ), and asked the direction to Mandan Mishra's house, he was told that Mandan Mishra's house is under a tree on whose branches the parrots are constantly asking ' What is real, and what is unreal ? ', ' How can moksha be attained ? ', etc. In other words, throughout Mithila there were great scholars, and debates were going on all the time.

 In my University, Allahabad University, where I studied from 1963-1967 there had been great scholars hailing from Mithila as the earlier Vice Chancellors. Dr. Ganganath Jha was a great scholar of Mimansa Shastra ( of which I too have been a student for long ). By translating  Kumaril Bhatt's Tantravartika and Shloka Vartika, and the Shabarbhashya, etc from Sanskrit into English, he made a great contribution, due to which I was personally benefited. As a Judge of the Allahabad High Court I would regularly go to the Dr.Ganganath Jha Library in Alfred Park in Allahabad to consult these books which helped me in interpreting several legal texts.

  I have been a scholar of Purva Mimansa, as this shastra provides principles of interpretation which are useful in interpreting statutes. Some of the greatest scholars who have developed this shastra were from Mithila. When I was a Judge of Allahabad High Court, I had prepared the manuscript of a book ' The Mimansa Rules of Interpretation ', the only book in English on the subject ( the others are all in Sanskrit ) and was seeking a publisher. At a function in Allahabad I met a Professor of Mithila University, and told him about the book. I said to him  : " Sir, you are from Mithila,the land of Raja Janak, and of some the greatest scholars of Mimansa Shastra which  India has produced. Please get this book published ". He gave a positive response, but later did nothing.

 Maithili, the language of Mithila, is one of the sweetest languages I have heard, though I cannot understand it.

 When I was the Chief Justice of Madras High Court, a Tamilian lady lawyer named Maithili appeared before me. I asked her whether she knew the meaning of her name. She said no. I then told her that it means one belonging to Mithila, in Northern Bihar, the land of Raja Janak, the great philosopher king, and father of Sitaji, who was married to Lord Rama, and the land of some of the greatest scholars India has produced.

 I had some time back received an invitation to visit Mithila. I could not avail of it at that time due to some other commitments, but if the invitation still stands I would very much like to avail of it. My email id is

Existence of God

 The famous Christian theologian, St Thomas Aquinas ( 1225-1274 ), in his book Summa Theologica gives 5  'proofs' ( quinque viae ) for the existence of God, and the famous Indian philosopher, Udayanacharya  ( 12 century ), in his book Nyaya Kusumanjali gives 9 'proofs'.

  All these 'proofs' are based on inferences ( which is called 'anumana pramana' in Indian philosophy ), and not on direct perception ( called 'pratyaksha pramana' or revelation ).

  The problem, however remains : what to do with the question posed  by Ivan Karamazov to his younger brother Aloysha in Dostoevsky's famous novel ' Brothers Karamazov ' : if there is a God, why do many children suffer ? ( see my blog ' Dostoevsky and the cold weather '). Millions of children who have done no harm to anyone, are yet hungry, shivering in the cold, often beaten cruelly by elders, deprived of good education and love and affection, and homeless ? If there is a God, why does he not give these children food, proper clothes, a home, proper education, love and affection by everyone, etc ?

 So if there is a God, he is either all powerful, or good, but he cannot be both

Friday 26 December 2014

Gay Relationships and Gay Marriages

 Nowadays many so called ' modern ' people are demanding legalizing gay relationships and gay marriages in India. Some people have asked for my opinion about the issue, so I am expressing it.
In his play ' Man and Superman ', the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw expresses his idea of what he calls as ' The Life Force '.

 According to Bernard Shaw, there is a powerful law of nature among all living creatures, that while the  individuals will one day die, the species must continue. Thus, the human species must continue, while the individual human beings will die.

 This law of nature creates The Life Force, which can be stated as the  driving force which ensures that life continues on earth. This Life Force creates a powerful urge in humans to reproduce, and the main role in this is that of the woman. It is she who has to conceive the child, keep the child in her womb  for nine months, give birth to the child, then rear the child for several years.

 To fulfill this role of nature, a woman has to get hold of a man, not merely to make her pregnant, but also to look after her and provide for her financially while she is performing this role.

 Hence, according to Shaw, it is not men who pursue women, but women who pursue men. It is the Life Force which drives women to pursue and catch a mate, who will then look after her while she is performing nature's serious and vital function of continuing the species. Women who remain single are prone to have psychological problems.

 In Man and Superman, Ann Whitefield pursues an unwilling Jack Turner.

  What Shaw expressed may have been known to others, but conventional morality had dictated that it is men who pursued women, instead of the other way around. So no one before Shaw had dared to challenge the conventional norm so openly.

 In the well known Hollywood film ' Fatal Attraction ', it is a woman ( played by Glenn Close ) who tries to get hold of a married man.

 Nowadays there is a lot of talk of gay relationships and gay marriages. To my mind it is all humbug.and nonsense. Will a gay relationship or gay marriage serve nature's requirement of continuing the species ? No, it is only sex between a man and a woman which will give birth to a child, not sex between a man and a man, or between a woman and a woman.

Thursday 25 December 2014

The Love Charger

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh ( born 15.8 1967 ), claiming himself to be a social reformer, preacher, spiritual leader, and head of the organization Dera Sacha Sauda ( DSS ), who has organized several several social programmes such as cleanliness campaign, blood drive, kidney donation, tree plantation, disaster relief, and support to transgender people, tribal communities, orphans, and rehabilitation of sex workers, who allegedly has 4-5 crore followers ( mainly in Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan ), and having a website describing him as an author, inventor, agriculturist, scientist, athlete, multi-lingual orator, scholar, director, musician, lyricist, and de-addiction specialist among others, and having a Political Affairs Wing, has reportedly become a rock star.

 He plays the lead role in his film ' Messenger of God ' to be released in January 2015 in Hindi, English, Tamil and Telugu. In this film he has composed and sung all the 9 songs, and performed all the ' stunts ' himself. A poster of the film shows him driving a motor cycle in a desert.
 Hari Om

The Nehru-Gandhi family

Many people have asked me my opinion regarding the Nehru-Gandhi family. So let me tell you.

I have respect for Jawaharlal Nehru because he was a man with a modern vision. He laid the foundation of heavy industry in India,which was vital since the British policy had broadly been not to permit industrialization of India. Scientific and technological institutions, e.g. IITs, were created under his leadership. He was secular, and there was no allegation of corruption against him.

 Of course he had his defects ( which person does not ), but compared to the present pygmies strutting the political stage in India, he was a giant.

  Many people criticize Nehru for the Kashmir problem, but it must be realized that at that time India had just become independent, things were topsy turvy, and there were international pressures.

  However, I have no respect for Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, or her children.

 Indira Gandhi was an unprincipled power crazy person. While Jawaharlal Nehru had respect for institutions, she almost destroyed all institutions, Parliament, the Judiciary and the Executive, in her lust to hold on to power after she was found guilty of election misconduct by the Allahabad High Court in 1975. For this end she imposed a fake Emergency, suppressing all civil liberties, and causing great suffering to the people of India.

 As regards Rajiv Gandhi, the massacre of Sikhs in 1984 is a huge blot on him. He can also not be forgiven for nullifying the humanitarian Shahbano judgement ( that a Muslim husband must give maintenance to his divorced wife ) just because he thought it necessary for retaining the Muslim vote bank. Also, his foolishness in sending the Indian army to Srilanka shows his political immaturity.

 The less said about Sonia the better. Scam after scam, of not crores of rupees, but lakhs of crores, were taking place during the UPA regime. One wonders where all this loot went ? Everyone knows that Manmohan Singh was only a dummy, and Sonia was the real power behind the throne.

 Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka are not even worth mentioning. What is there in them, except their claim to belong to the dynasty ?

Bharat Ratna awards

The media are full of the award of Bharat Ratna to Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya and Atal Behari Vajpayi. Many people have applauded it.

 I regret I cannot join in this adulation. In my opinion neither of them deserved the award.

What was there so great about Vajpayee ? And what was there in Malviya ? It is said that he set up the Benaras Hindu University. But how can a University be Hindu or Muslim ? A University is something universal. In fact setting up Aligarh Muslim University and Benares Hindu University was part of the British policy of divide and rule.

 The persons who in my opinion should be awarded Bharat Ratna are :

(1) Mirza Ghalib
 When I first spoke of this some people said : why not to Gautam Buddha and Ashoka ? My answer is : Ghalib is modern, not ancient or medeival, and he has taken literature to the highest pinnacle. Also, posthumous awards have frequently been given, e.g. to Dr. Ambedkar and Sardar Patel.

(2) Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis, for his outstanding sacrifice to help the Chinese people when they were fighting the Japanese invaders. This brought laurels to India, showing that we are not a people concerned only about ourselves, but also think of the welfare of other nations

(3) Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyaya, for his powerful attack against the caste system and womens' oppression in his stories and novels

(4) Subramania Bharti, for his nationalism and powerful support for womens' emancipation in his poetry

 (5) P. Sainath, for his courageous journalism, exposing the truth of the social and economic realities in India, e.g. farmers suicides.

  But who cares for my opinion ?

( My article in The Hindu on 29 December, 2011: Who should get the Bharat Ratna? )

A Kashmiri King upholds the law

The ' Rajtarangini ', ( River of Kings ), an epic Sanskrit poem by the Kashmiri poet Kalhan ( 12th Century ), mentions how Chandrapida, a King of Kashmir, upheld the Rule of Law, and protected a charmakar (  cobbler ) against his own officials.

 The King's officials had planned to build a temple of Lord Tribhuvanaswamy on a land, on a piece of which the cobbler's hut was situated. The cobbler refused to remove his hut despite the orders of the officials. When the officials complained of the cobbler's obstinacy to the King, instead of being ordered to demolish the hut, the officials were reprimanded by the King for encroaching on the cobbler's land.

 The King told them :

नियम्यताम् विनिर्माणं यद् अन्यत्र विधीयताम्
परभूमि अपहरण सुकृतं कः कलंकेत
ये द्रष्टारः सदसताम् ते धर्म विनुगणा क्रियाः
वयमेव विदधमश्चेत यातु न्यायेण को अघ्वना

" Stop the construction, or build the temple elsewhere
  Who would tarnish such a pious act by illegally depriving a man of his land ?
 If we, who are the judges of what is right and what is not, act unlawfully, who would then abide by the law ? "
 ( Rajtarangini, chapter 4, pages 59-60 )

Later, overwhelmed by the sense of justice of the King, the cobbler sought an audience with him. When brought before the King he said :

"  Just as the palace is to Your Majesty, so is the hut to me. I could not bear its demolition.However, if Your Majesty asks for it, I shall give it up, seeing your just behaviour "
 Subsequently the King purchased it after paying a satisfactory price.

 The cobbler then told the King with folded hands :

राजधर्म अनुरोधेन पर्वत्ता तयोचिता
स्वस्ति तुभ्यं  चिरं स्थेया धर्म्या वृत्तांत पद्धति
दर्शयन् ईदृशीह श्रद्धा श्रद्धेया धर्मचारिणाम


 " Yielding to another, however low, adhering to the principles of Rajdharma,is the appropriate course for a King. I wish you well.
 May you live long, upholding the supremacy of the law."
 ( Rajtarangini Chapter 4, pp.75-77 )

 Thus, under a just King the supremacy of the law was upheld, and the weak ( the cobbler ) prevailed over the strong ( the King's officials ).

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Thumbs Up

An Intellgence Bureau report to the Prime Minister's Office dated 19.12.2014 has stated that farmers' suicides are on the rise in Maharashtra, Telengana, Karnataka, and Punjab. It has also pointed to farmers suicides by debt ridden farmers in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Tamilnadu. A 75 year old farmer is reported to have committed suicide by leaping into his own funeral pyre.

 A Public Interest Litigation filed in the Supreme Court of India stated that in Maharashtra alone 4 farmers were committing suicide every day. This year alone 1022 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra, 454 in the Marathwada region of the state alone, and a large number in the Vidarbha region.

  In Punjab farmers in large numbers committed suicide in the past two decades. The Saurashtra area of Gujarat is threatening to turn into another Vidarbha.

 The  'annadaatas ' of the nation are dying, their widows are weeping and wailing, and their children sobbing.

  Drought, erratic rains, and floods are playing havoc with the lives of farmers. They get a pittance for their produce, the bulk of the profits being taken away by middlemen.

 Costs of inputs e.g. fertilizer, pesticides, water, electricity, etc have all shot up, because of which farming has become uneconomical Farmers have to take loans to obtain these inputs, loans which keep mounting due to the heavy interest charged by money lenders, and which they cannot repay. Consequently their farms are being foreclosed and they with their families dispossessed. No wonder that they are hanging themselves.

       Happy days are here again. Thumbs up

Jai Ho

The Hindustan Times newspaper of today has reported that the Central Government has slashed  the healthcare budget for 2014-2015 by nearly 20%,, putting at risk key disease control measures, in a country whose public spending on health is already one of the lowest in the world. India spends only about 1% of its GDP on healthcare, while U.S.A, spends about 8.3%, and China about 3%. The cut is estimated to be of about Rs. 6,000 crores, in a country where, according to a UN Report, one third of the world's poorest 1.2 billion people live.

  One Union Health Ministry official said that this step will cripple efforts to control  diseases. and derail the plan to provide citizens with free or cheap drugs, diagnostic treatment and medical insurance benefits.

 In my articles ' Healthcare in India ' and ' Malnutrition in India ' I have described the abysmal condition of healthcare already prevailing in India. With this budgetary cut the situation is bound to worsen.

  The above news should be read along with another wonderful news published in another newspaper, 'The Statesman ', today on page 11. Parliament was informed that public sector banks have written off loans worth Rs. 1,06,170 crores in the last 5 years, that is, an average of about Rs. 20,000 crores per year. This money would have more than covered the healthcare needs of the people.

 So poor people should die, while crony capitalists make hay while the sun shines.

   Jai Ho

Dostoevsky and the cold weather

Despite wearing a lot of woollen clothing I was shivering in the cold weather yesterday. The cold wave has suddenly set in in North India. It seems that the temperature dropped significantly within a couple of days. Many deaths due to the cold weather are reported in North India. More should be expected in the coming days.

 Poverty is the worst thing in life. When people do not get enough to eat or wear, or a proper place to live in,how can their bodies withstand the cold ?

 In the famous novel ' The Brothers Karamazov ', by the great Russian writer Dostoevsky, one of the Karamazov brothers, Ivan, poses this question to his brother Aloysha : If there is a God, why does he allow children to suffer, children who have done no harm to anyone, but are shivering in the cold, and remain hungry ? Why does he not give them food, clothes, a proper home, and a happy childhood ? There are millions of such children in India and the world

Ivan speaks to his brother Aloysha :
"One picture, only one more, because it's so curious, so characteristic, and I have only just read it in some collection of Russian antiquities. I've forgotten the name. I must look it up. It was in the darkest days of serfdom at the beginning of the century, and long live the Liberator of the People! There was in those days a general of aristocratic connections, the owner of great estates, one of those men -- somewhat exceptional, I believe, even then -- who, retiring from the service into a life of leisure, are convinced that they've earned absolute power over the lives of their subjects. There were such men then. So our general, settled on his property of two thousand souls, lives in pomp, and domineers over his poor neighbours as though they were dependents and buffoons. He has kennels of hundreds of hounds and nearly a hundred dog-boys -- all mounted, and in uniform. One day a serf-boy, a little child of eight, threw a stone in play and hurt the paw of the general's favourite hound. 'Why is my favourite dog lame?' He is told that the boy threw a stone that hurt the dog's paw. 'So you did it.' The general looked the child up and down. 'Take him.'
 He was taken -- taken from his mother and kept shut up all night. Early next morning the general comes out on horseback, with the hounds, his dependents, dog-boys, and huntsmen, all mounted around him in full hunting parade. The servants are summoned for their edification, and in front of them all stands the mother of the child. The child is brought from the lock-up. It's a gloomy, cold, foggy, autumn day, a capital day for hunting. The general orders the child to be undressed; the child is stripped naked. He shivers, numb with terror, not daring to cry.... 'Make him run,' commands the general. 'Run! run!' shout the dog-boys. The boy runs.... 'At him!' yells the general, and he sets the whole pack of hounds on the child. The hounds catch him, and tear him to pieces before his mother's eyes!... I believe the general was afterwards declared incapable of administering his estates. Well -- what did he deserve? To be shot? To be shot for the satisfaction of our moral feelings? Speak, Alyosha!

"To be shot," murmured Alyosha, lifting his eyes to Ivan with a pale, twisted smile.

"Bravo!" cried Ivan delighted. "If even you say so... You're a pretty monk! So there is a little devil sitting in your heart, Alyosha Karamazov!"

"What I said was absurd, but-"

"That's just the point, that 'but'!" cried Ivan. "Let me tell you, novice, that the absurd is only too necessary on earth. The world stands on absurdities, and perhaps nothing would have come to pass in it without them. We know what we know!"

"What do you know?"

"I understand nothing," Ivan went on, as though in delirium. "I don't want to understand anything now. I want to stick to the fact. I made up my mind long ago not to understand. If I try to understand anything, I shall be false to the fact, and I have determined to stick to the fact."

"Why are you trying me?" Alyosha cried, with sudden distress. "Will you say what you mean at last?"

"Of course, I will; that's what I've been leading up to. You are dear to me, I don't want to let you go, and I won't give you up to your Zossima."

Ivan for a minute was silent, his face became all at once very sad.

"Listen! I took the case of children only to make my case clearer. Of the other tears of humanity with which the earth is soaked from its crust to its centre, I will say nothing. I have narrowed my subject on purpose. I am a bug, and I recognise in all humility that I cannot understand why the world is arranged as it is. Men are themselves to blame, I suppose; they were given paradise, they wanted freedom, and stole fire from heaven, though they knew they would become unhappy, so there is no need to pity them. With my pitiful, earthly, Euclidian understanding, all I know is that there is suffering and that there are none guilty; that cause follows effect, simply and directly; that everything flows and finds its level -- but that's only Euclidian nonsense, I know that, and I can't consent to live by it! What comfort is it to me that there are none guilty and that cause follows effect simply and directly, and that I know it? -- I must have justice, or I will destroy myself. And not justice in some remote infinite time and space, but here on earth, and that I could see myself. I have believed in it. I want to see it, and if I am dead by then, let me rise again, for if it all happens without me, it will be too unfair. Surely I haven't suffered simply that I, my crimes and my sufferings, may manure the soil of the future harmony for somebody else. I want to see with my own eyes the hind lie down with the lion and the victim rise up and embrace his murderer. I want to be there when everyone suddenly understands what it has all been for. All the religions of the world are built on this longing, and I am a believer.
 But then there are the children, and what am I to do about them? That's a question I can't answer. For the hundredth time I repeat, there are numbers of questions, but I've only taken the children, because in their case what I mean is so unanswerably clear. Listen! If all must suffer to pay for the eternal harmony, what have children to do with it, tell me, please? It's beyond all comprehension why they should suffer, and why they should pay for the harmony. Why should they, too, furnish material to enrich the soil for the harmony of the future? I understand solidarity in sin among men. I understand solidarity in retribution, too; but there can be no such solidarity with children. And if it is really true that they must share responsibility for all their fathers' crimes, such a truth is not of this world and is beyond my comprehension. Some jester will say, perhaps, that the child would have grown up and have sinned, but you see he didn't grow up, he was torn to pieces by the dogs, at eight years old. Oh, Alyosha, I am not blaspheming! I understand, of course, what an upheaval of the universe it will be when everything in heaven and earth blends in one hymn of praise and everything that lives and has lived cries aloud: 'Thou art just, O Lord, for Thy ways are revealed.' When the mother embraces the fiend who threw her child to the dogs, and all three cry aloud with tears, 'Thou art just, O Lord!' then, of course, the crown of knowledge will be reached and all will be made clear. But what pulls me up here is that I can't accept that harmony. And while I am on earth, I make haste to take my own measures. You see, Alyosha, perhaps it really may happen that if I live to that moment, or rise again to see it, I, too, perhaps, may cry aloud with the rest, looking at the mother embracing the child's torturer, 'Thou art just, O Lord!' but I don't want to cry aloud then.
 While there is still time, I hasten to protect myself, and so I renounce the higher harmony altogether. It's not worth the tears of that one tortured child who beat itself on the breast with its little fist and prayed in its stinking outhouse, with its unexpiated tears to 'dear, kind God'! It's not worth it, because those tears are unatoned for. They must be atoned for, or there can be no harmony. But how? How are you going to atone for them? Is it possible? By their being avenged? But what do I care for avenging them? What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don't want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
 I don't want the mother to embrace the oppressor who threw her son to the dogs! She dare not forgive him! Let her forgive him for herself, if she will, let her forgive the torturer for the immeasurable suffering of her mother's heart. But the sufferings of her tortured child she has no right to forgive; she dare not forgive the torturer, even if the child were to forgive him! And if that is so, if they dare not forgive, what becomes of harmony? Is there in the whole world a being who would have the right to forgive and could forgive? I don't want harmony. From love for humanity I don't want it. I would rather be left with the unavenged suffering. I would rather remain with my unavenged suffering and unsatisfied indignation, even if I were wrong. Besides, too high a price is asked for harmony; it's beyond our means to pay so much to enter on it. And so I hasten to give back my entrance ticket, and if I am an honest man I am bound to give it back as soon as possible. And that I am doing. It's not God that I don't accept, Alyosha, only I most respectfully return him the ticket."